Pentagon suspends planning for joint drills with S. Korea in August - USA

U.S. President Donald Trump right reaches to shakes hands with North Korea leader Kim Jong Un at the Capella resort on Sentosa Island Tuesday

North Korea's Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump met in Singapore last week

It also includes the non-nuclear capable B-1B bomber among these strategic assets; North Korea likely believes that the B-1B continues to retain a nuclear mission even though this role was eliminated for the bomber in 1994.

The Pentagon said in a statement the US military has suspended all planning for the Ulchi Freedom Guardian defense exercise, which was supposed to take place in August.

"South Korea and the USA made the decision as we believe this will contribute to maintaining such momentum", defense ministry spokeswoman Choi Hyun-soo said, as reported by The Associated Press.

During the South Korea-hosted Winter Olympics in February, the two countries marched together during the opening ceremony. Moon said there was a need to be "flexible" on possibly easing military pressure on North Korea if the denuclearization process continues.

"There is no impact on Pacific exercises outside of the Korean Peninsula".

The announcement says all planning for the exercise has been stopped.

"Suspending drills once is risky because it causes a hole in our national security".

Kim has labeled the exercises practice for an invasion of North Korea.

The other major US exercises with South Korea, codenamed Key Resolve and Foal Eagle, took place earlier this spring. The drill, held since the 1970s, usually took place in August.

South Korea and the United States have always said the drills are purely defensive.

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The Russian foreign ministry welcomed on Tuesday a decision by the United States and South Korea to suspend a major joint military exercise, Interfax news agency reported.

The other major United States military exercises with South Korea - Key Resolve and Foal Eagle - took place earlier this spring.

But the guns represent a substantial part of North Korea's threat to Seoul.

At the briefing, Ministry spokesperson Choi Hyun-soo insisted that the USA and the ROK would maintain readiness against the DPRK.

Precisely because the artillery is so formidable, expect to see North Korea ask for something in return. That would give Trump more leverage in his trade negotiations with China and Kim the ability to strike the best deal for North Korea without having to worry about Chinese interference.

The announcement came as Kim travelled to China to brief president Xi Jinping on his Singapore meeting with Trump. Two defectors with harrowing stories of starvation, deprivation, public executions, losing parents, and finally their escapes, speak with Nick Schifrin about what the hope for Trump's North Korea diplomacy. Trump also had called the exercises "provocative", using the same language that North Korea has used for years in objecting to the readiness drills.

Even better for China would be the U.S. reducing troop levels on the Korean Peninsula. The U.S. has sent B-1B aircraft from Guam on bombing runs over South Korean ranges, sometimes as a show of force after North Korean missile tests.

South Korean K-55 self-propelled howitzers artillery relocate after participating in a defense exercise at the Mugeon-ri drill field near the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in Paju, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea, 19 June 2018.

The Ulchi Exercise is an emergency preparedness training drill, conducted every year to train citizens in "actively dealing with wartime or a situation equivalent to a state of national emergency". Athletes will form unified Korean teams for some of the games. Those exercises have never resumed.

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